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Fighting in the NHL


flyerrod
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Banning Fighting in Hockey  

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  1. 1. Banning Fighting in Hockey



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Today I saw an article written by Ken Campbell siting a poll that says 68% of today's fans are in favor of banning fighting in Hockey. Am I that out of touch with the pulse of the game and the fans or is he polling mite hockey team parents or something.......

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Seems about right. It's a lot lower (less in favor of banning fighting) when you poll the players.

If today's fighting served the same purpose as it was intended to when it became accepted as part of the game...I'd say keep it. But it seems to me that 9 out of 10 fights these days are of the staged variety. Yawn. If I wanted to see a fight I'd watch boxing or the MMA. Right now as a fan I tolerate it but I wouldn't lose a minute of sleep if it went away.

I've said this before and I will say it again. Fighting deters absolutely nothing. It's become a side show for some of the traditionalists and meat heads. If Colton Orr wants to run Giroux, the fact that he will have to drop the gloves with Jody Shelly will not deter him (insert Jody Shelly joke here but you get my point).

While I'm on the soap box...getting rid of the insitgator rule really won't change much either. Back to Ott v. Shelly. If Ott runs Giroux, is Shelly NOT going to fight him because he might get an instigator? Heck, is Orr not going to be a willing participant (i.e. - not "instigated" into fighting)?

Always a good topic, @flyerrod. But if my vote counted, I'd get rid of it.

Edited by B21
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@B21

I am not a big fan of the staged fight but you shouldn't take away the ability to curtail players taking runs at your stars. They have already neutered policing to a degree with the instigator you talk about. I believe fighting is part of the game. Rinaldo is out there checking people "legally" but yet Thornton went after him and no instigator was called. Go figure......

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Hockey has passion, speed and hard contact. Those things get the blood up, and there will be fights.

If fighting is banned, that'll change the game.

I don't need to see a fight to enjoy hockey. But, I realize why players do it.

And, I think Podein is dead-on. I know lots of guys who don't like to fight, but they won't back away.

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Fighting in hockey has never been about deterrence. It's always been about honor. It's always been in the game and always will be.

What is so honorable about two guys with AHL skills sets deciding to have at it for no real reason and when there is no real animosity involved? Take away the skates and pads and that's called boxing.

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@blocker

<< Hockey has passion, speed and hard contact. Those things get the blood up, and there will be fights. >>

So does football. You fight in a football game and you are ejected.

<< If fighting is banned, that'll change the game. >>

How?

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@B21

I am not a big fan of the staged fight but you shouldn't take away the ability to curtail players taking runs at your stars. They have already neutered policing to a degree with the instigator you talk about. I believe fighting is part of the game. Rinaldo is out there checking people "legally" but yet Thornton went after him and no instigator was called. Go figure......

OK - but tell me how fighting curtails star players being run? The threat of having to fight someone didn't stop Downie from slew-footing Crosby or Hatcher from taking some of his teeth out with his stick. Didn't stop Steckel from that famous maybe/maybe not hit in the Winter Classic. Heck - some of the BS Lemieux had to put up with in his prime gets you put in jail in many states (exaggeration to make a point but still).

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@B21

When you make your point about the staged goonery, I agree, the game doesn't need that. I do think there needs to be an outlet for guys when in the heat of the game a guy goes too far with, insert something unsavory here, he should answer for it, ideally with the person who has been wronged. Act the douche, answer the bell.

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@B21

When you make your point about the staged goonery, I agree, the game doesn't need that. I do think there needs to be an outlet for guys when in the heat of the game a guy goes too far with, insert something unsavory here, he should answer for it, ideally with the person who has been wronged. Act the douche, answer the bell.

I get that....but how often does that actually happen? Not often...certainly not often enough that it justifies keeping fighting around as some form of deterrant.

I'll even go one step further...how often does a guy make a big legal hit but in the "heat of the game" (and without the benefit of replay) the teammates of the guy getting his clocked cleaned go after the guy who just made the hit? I'll argue that happens more often. Why should a guy have to answer the bell in that scenario?

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I suppose that though I know it is rare, I like the thought that if somebody seriously tries to run Malkin or Crosby... a guy like Engelland is permitted within the rules, to go try to rip his head off. It's not just the other goons that drop the gloves, sometimes your goon goes after the guy who did the damage regardless of whether he is willing or not. The threat of that HAS to mean something. If I'm playing Crosby and I start thinking about running him to be rid of him, I better also be thinking of a guy like Engelland coming after me to make sure my night ends as well. There has to be someone to answer to besides the league... because we've all seen the league has failed.

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You can have the staged fights, I hate them and think they break up the momentum of the game. I do think, however, that fighting is necessary under certain circumstances. It is the policing that should be done on the ice, instead of the refs calling phantom penalties and 'trying to take control of the game.' That pizzes me off even more than the phantom fight....

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Today I saw an article written by Ken Campbell siting a poll that says 68% of today's fans are in favor of banning fighting in Hockey. Am I that out of touch with the pulse of the game and the fans or is he polling mite hockey team parents or something.......

I can honestly say, If they ever banned fighting, My days of watching the NHL would be OVER! There should be more fighting in the league (GET RID OF THE INSTIGATOR RULE) than maybe you dont see players launching at people's heads or drilling them face first into the boards all the time. If I wanted to watch a no fighting league, I have that option in the various other leagues that dont allow it. There's a reason why most players want it in the game and A reason why non players don't. UNDERSTANDING of it IMO.

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I suppose that though I know it is rare, I like the thought that if somebody seriously tries to run Malkin or Crosby... a guy like Engelland is permitted within the rules, to go try to rip his head off. It's not just the other goons that drop the gloves, sometimes your goon goes after the guy who did the damage regardless of whether he is willing or not. The threat of that HAS to mean something. If I'm playing Crosby and I start thinking about running him to be rid of him, I better also be thinking of a guy like Engelland coming after me to make sure my night ends as well. There has to be someone to answer to besides the league... because we've all seen the league has failed.

I agree the league has failed to a point but I also feel there is a general lack of respect among players as well.

As for the Crosby/Engelland example...

So on one hand hockey players are supposed to be fearless; the toughest and meanest SOB's in all of sports. On the other hand, the threat of having to fight an above average heavyweight in Engelland is supposed to keep guys from taking a run at Crosby. So which is it? I can give you a laundry list of guys who did not seem to fear having to drop the gloves in return for taking a run at him.

I'll tell you what you players do fear. No playing time. No paychecks. No job. Look what 17+ games and a not so subtle "one-more-and-you're-done" from Mario and Shero did for Cooke. How much do you want to bet that Raffi Torres will be on his best behavior moving forward? Those guys are one head shot away from being pariahs and they know it.

Start handing out longer suspensions....5 then 10 then 25. That will straighten the kids out.

Edited by B21
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You can have the staged fights, I hate them and think they break up the momentum of the game. I do think, however, that fighting is necessary under certain circumstances. It is the policing that should be done on the ice, instead of the refs calling phantom penalties and 'trying to take control of the game.' That pizzes me off even more than the phantom fight....

I'll ask you the same question I've asked everyone else.....how is fighting necessary even if it is just for certain circumstances? What circumstances?

Edited by B21
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I can honestly say, If they ever banned fighting, My days of watching the NHL would be OVER! There should be more fighting in the league (GET RID OF THE INSTIGATOR RULE) than maybe you dont see players launching at people's heads or drilling them face first into the boards all the time. If I wanted to watch a no fighting league, I have that option in the various other leagues that dont allow it. There's a reason why most players want it in the game and A reason why non players don't. UNDERSTANDING of it IMO.

So for those of us who thingk the NHL doesn't need fighting...tell me what I am not understanding? All I keep getting are abstract answers..."it will change the game" or "you don't understand it" or "it's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma."

So explain it to me. What am I not understanding?

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I'll ask you the same question I've asked everyone else.....how is fighting necessary even if it is just for certain circumstances? What circumstances?

It appears to me that players took less 'liberties' in the day when they were allowed to police themselves, when there was the fear of retaliation from a teammate. I understand that players are bigger, faster, stronger than they were years before, but it seems to me the major injuries were a lot less back in the day than now. Why, I can't say for sure but the league has not done a very good job of controlling these things (and Shanahan less so). There is no consistancy in the application and it just gets worse. I long for the old days, that's all.

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It appears to me that players took less 'liberties' in the day when they were allowed to police themselves, when there was the fear of retaliation from a teammate. I understand that players are bigger, faster, stronger than they were years before, but it seems to me the major injuries were a lot less back in the day than now. Why, I can't say for sure but the league has not done a very good job of controlling these things (and Shanahan less so). There is no consistancy in the application and it just gets worse. I long for the old days, that's all.

I'll disagree on the "liberties" point. The game was much more violent back in the day (pre-1980's). I can't argue the inconsistency of the league's efforts in trying to control things but that really isn't a reason to keep fighting around.

The league can at least become more consistent and implement longer and more frequent suspensions (the NHLPA takes some blame here, too). Fighting - and this mythical fear of it that allegedly keeps players in line - is what it is (or isn't).

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So for those of us who thingk the NHL doesn't need fighting...tell me what I am not understanding? All I keep getting are abstract answers..."it will change the game" or "you don't understand it" or "it's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma."

So explain it to me. What am I not understanding?

If you don't approve of the fighting and don't understand or agree with other points of view about, well, that was part of what I was getting at when I read the tweet by Ken Campbell the other day. You are proof that there are people out there against fighting.However, the percentages he used in the poll he sited, are skewed by something. For instance, I disagree with the staged fighting but don't have issues with a fight that occurs during the flow of a game. If the original poll used staged fighting as a basis for his results, you are going to have a higher number of people that agree with banning that part of the game. I also realize that you are at your happiest when you can find something to argue about and I am glad I have been able to oblige you. :)

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I will say this about Ken Campbell...IMO..he's a complete and utter DB...bordering on Skip Bayless. I've never seen a writer, who makes a living covering a sport, spend more time RIPPING everything about that sport. I used to follow him on Twitter, and unless he had something negative to say, he didn't tweet anything. I could be way offbase in my opinion, and would love some Canucks who see/hear him more often to chime in..but also don't want to hijack this thread.

I would LOVE to see where he got his numbers from....that 68% is total BS to me-unless he interviewed people in a nursing home in FLA who don't know what hockey is.

I will add more later on the fighting topic...off to a meeting in a few mins.

Edited by DaGreatGazoo
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If you don't approve of the fighting and don't understand or agree with other points of view about, well, that was part of what I was getting at when I read the tweet by Ken Campbell the other day. You are proof that there are people out there against fighting.However, the percentages he used in the poll he sited, are skewed by something. For instance, I disagree with the staged fighting but don't have issues with a fight that occurs during the flow of a game. If the original poll used staged fighting as a basis for his results, you are going to have a higher number of people that agree with banning that part of the game. I also realize that you are at your happiest when you can find something to argue about and I am glad I have been able to oblige you. :)

Well for starters, I'm not against fighting. I like boxing for example. I'm not against fighting in hockey either...if it serves a purpose other than being a side show to the actual sport itself. Right now, that's all fighting is. A side show. A gimmick. Might as well bring back Fox's glow pucks if that's what you want. The game's founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they saw what fighting has evolved to become.

I really can't speak for the poll Ken Campbell cited other than to say you can't have a debate about fighting and simply ignore the 9 out of every 10 fights (i/m/h/o but probalbly more) that accomplish absolutely nothing. Not for revenge. Not meant to deter. Nothing.

If fighting really did keep guys in line and was truly about hate, passion, honour, revenge...pick any cliche...then keep it. But it's not and hasn't been for a while. Of course if this were true, there would be a lot less fighting in the NHL. My guess is the pro-fighting crowd wouldn't want that. That's all fine and dandy but at least own that....own that you just want to see a fight even if it means nothing because you like it. Don't act like it is this tradition full of meaning and chivalry that the game cannot get by without. It was at one point. Not any more.

As for me being happiest when I can find something to argue about? Duh. Isn't that part of the reason we are all here? Plus, it's a topic I have a strong opinion about.

So feel free to continue the argument with your answers to my "How?" and "Why?" questions about fighting in the NHL.

Edited by B21
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@B21 A bit far fetched, but what if all the tough guys got together, at say a NHLPA meeting, and make a pact to fight more often, to keep it in the public's eye....and to secure the jobs of tough guys for the next generation.....hmmm...maybe that's why so many planned fights happen?

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If fighting really did keep guys in line and was truly about hate, passion, honour, revenge...pick any cliche...then keep it.

You're way too cynical about this and you lack experience that would change your view.

I can tell you from experience that there were guys I hated with all my heart, played against them for years, and the only thing that kept us from killing each other was fighting each other. We earned respect for each other that way, instead of doing what we wanted to do, which was to bash each others teeth or otherwise maim and injure each other. Such is the nature of the game that it leads to those passions.

Fighting is the time-honored way that hockey has always policed itself, when allowed to. That is the history of the role that fighting has played in the game whether you like it or not. And all the talk about staged fights and all that crap (and it is crap) doesn't change that.

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